When I graduated from high school I wanted to try something new, push myself out of my comfort zone and do something I knew I’d love. The thrill of going overseas for the first time had me nervous yet excited, especially as I was going by myself. At the CCUSA Melbourne job fair, in a sea of young adults trying to find a camp to begin their adventure, Joel and Stefan’s smiling faces approached me. Ecstatic, I left with a job as an arts and crafts counselor at Beber Camp.

Here we are in 2018 and I am about to head back to camp for my 8th summer.  My family asks me ‘why?’ each year, and my answer is simple. I love the kind of person Beber has made me. The communication skills and confidence I have gained over the years at camp are second to none. The opportunities that have opened up for me because I made this decision 8 years ago are incredible. Before summer begins, I will become a registered elementary teacher in Australia and the communication, leadership and childcare skills I have gained at camp will no doubt help me as I delve into the world of teaching.

Being a part of the Beber Camp community is a one of a kind experience. The friendships formed at camp last a lifetime, span the width of oceans and pick up exactly where they leave off each summer. There’s a real buzz as staff begin to arrive and it’s truly amazing how close everyone becomes during the first week of staff training. Witnessing the excitement, joy and sheer happiness on camper’s faces as they arrive the week after solidifies why I return each summer. 

I have many amazing memories over the years; the first days of camp where so many new people get to know each other, to the last few days where the vibe becomes eternally grateful for the experiences of the summer. One particular aspect I look forward to is seeing my campers from my first years on staff grow and become camp counselors themselves. To think that I had a part in helping campers grow and learn is extremely fulfilling.

If this is your first summer or your 5th summer at Beber Camp, I hope you develop the same love that I have for the amazing Beber community. This experience will change your life and the lives of many others. See you in a few months!

-Michaela Lister